Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 5:
Nine students of Rama Devi Women’s University today approached the OHRC (Odisha Human Rights Commission) seeking action against the culprits over their alleged detention during the Chief Minister’s visit to the university on December 3.
“Even though we are the students of the university, we were not allowed inside. We were not allowed intentionally even after producing our identity cards. However, many non-students went inside in front of us. Right before the programme began; we were called aside and locked down by Shaheed Nagar Police Station ACP and another lady officer,” read the memorandum they submitted to the commission.
“Even though we brought this issue to the attention of University OSD (Officer on Special Duty) Padmaja Mishra, she threatened to rusticate us instead of taking any action. The Chief Minister has become a silent spectator even though he is aware about the issue,” it added.
“We wish to bring it to your notice that this is gross violation of human rights. Locking down the students and allowing nonstudents is undemocratic and has taken place in the presence of the Chief Minister. We request you to intervene in the matter, get an inquiry conducted, give us justice and take action against the culprits,” demanded the students through the memorandum.
Besides, later in the day, the girls lodged a complaint in Shaheed Nagar police station against the University OSD, Registrar, Chairman of PG Council and the police officers on duty.
Interestingly, state unit of BJP and Congress shed their differences to come together in support of the students that were seen waving NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) flags on their way to meet the OHRC. NSUI is the student wing of the Indian National Congress.
“We are here to report the unfortunate incident of Rama Devi University to the State Commission for Women. We would like know why the incident happened and who issued the orders to lock the girls down. We demand an inquiry and action against the culprits no matter who they are,” said BJP leader Lekhasri Samantsinghar.
Notably, the BJP women wing workers led by Samantsinghar had organised an agitation yesterday in support of the students.
As expected, PCC President Prasad Harichandan was also up in arms against the ruling establishment over the issue.
“This is an unprecedented incident. We demand immediate action. The Chief Minister is directly involved. In a meeting attended by the Chief Minister, in his presence, the police detained the students illegally. This is wrongful confinement and is violation of human rights. The Chief Minister himself is the abettor of the incident. A case needs to be registered against him under section 120-B. Besides, cases need to be registered against all those involved under section 340, 341 and 354 of IPC,” said Harichandan.
On the other hand, the issue was raised in the ongoing assembly session for the second day today with opposition members demanding an apology from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The Government is likely to make a statement in the second half today on the issue.